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Life Forum by Gerald Clayton
Released: Apr 2013
Label: Concord Jazz
How influential is Robert Glasper's Black Radio, already? On pianist Gerald Clayton's new album, the first few seconds tell you that the answer is "very." Over bass-heavy accompaniment, we hear an intense but not too intense spoken-word piece; it signals that the album is very post-hip-hop in its template. But much of what follows has little to do with this: Clayton's trio shines on "Shadamanthem," with the addition of some excellent trumpet and sax ringers. This high is equaled on "Unhidden" and "Mao Nas Nassa." The cuts with vocals, while fine, can't outdo Clayton's classic qualities.
Seth Colter Walls